Today We're Believers

Royal Canoe

Roll Call Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Today We’re Believers is an album that can’t really sell itself very well on paper. Firstly, it is practically impossible to describe this record. There is no genre that can define this album, and there is no band that Royal Canoe can be compared with either. This six-piece outfit from Winnipeg, Canada isn’t just a band that has the stamp of uniqueness simply because it is trying out something new and cool. Yes, the music on this record sounds absolutely new and cool, but the only possible reaction when you first listen to this album is, “holy fuck!” because there are albums that are different, and there is my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Believers.

This is an album whose song structures are anything but conventional. Songs mutate unexpectedly, and they mutate often to the point that it might seem like the disc is too impulsive and hyperactive to keep up with. The music is loaded with heavy synthesizers; but this is not your bubbly ‘80s-influenced synthpop album, as one might assume. The synth sounds are more noisy than melodious. The vocals are also a little quirky, to say the least; especially the uncanny backup effects added to singer Matt Peters’ vocals on songs like “Button Fumbla” and “Nightcrawlin,” which sound as if they are sung by James Earl Jones incarnated as a toad – try imagining that!

Although saying good things convincingly about Believers in short punchy sentences is tough, there is no doubt that this is a pretty amazing record. What is even more amazing is that this is actually a very accessible album, despite not having many instantly marketable qualities. Believers is kind of like a Björk album, in the sense that it sounds alien and nothing like one has ever heard before. However, unlike any Björk album, which takes time getting hooked on to, Believers is immediately catchy; this is pretty remarkable, considering how weird it is.

It seems like there is no musical idea that is off limits on this release. The music appears to be very spontaneous and is certainly very complex. The result is almost like a chaotic mess, but Royal Canoe does a great job of making brilliantly attractive and addictive songs out of the pandemonium. This doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense unless one actually listens to this record; and listen everyone absolutely must!

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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